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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Queensland Is Shutting Its Borders to All of Greater Sydney From December 21

The Sunshine State only completely opened to its southern neighbour on December 1.
By Sarah Ward
December 20, 2020
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By Sarah Ward
December 20, 2020
  shares

When New South Wales last experienced a COVID-19 cluster, Queensland shut its borders — first to select hotspots, then to Greater Sydney, then to all of NSW. Accordingly, with Sydney's northern beaches cluster continuing to grow, it should come as no surprise that the Sunshine State is closing down again to folks from the Greater Sydney area.

As announced today, Sunday, December 20, by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, that means that anyone who has been in the Greater Sydney area since Friday, December 11 will not be permitted to enter the Sunshine State — with the border closure coming into effect at 1am on Monday, December 21. All Greater Sydney local government areas will be declared a hotspot, with the new ban covering the areas that are either currently under NSW restrictions or will come under them from 11.59pm tonight.

The northern beaches area has already been declared a hotspot by Queensland, with the border closing to folks from the area at 1am, Sunday, December 20.

The general advice: if you've travelled to those areas, don't plan on going to Queensland. Anyone who falls into the above categories will not be allowed to access or quarantine in the state, and will be turned away at the border — whether you live in the hotspot areas or have visited them in the specified period. You'll only be permitted into Queensland if you receive an exemption as part of the reintroduced Queensland Border Declaration Pass system. And, if you do receive an exemption, you will be required to go into forced quarantine for 14 days, in a hotel, at your own expense.

A 14-day forced quarantine period will also apply to Queensland residents returning home from Greater Sydney — in a hotel and at your own expense, too. But, Queenslanders will have an extra day to come back. If you arrive back before 1am on Tuesday, December 22, you won't have to go into hotel quarantine, and can instead do your fortnight of self-isolation at home. From Tuesday morning, however, you'll be in the same situation as anyone else allowed to enter the Sunshine State from the Greater Sydney area.

The move comes as NSW recorded 30 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, December 19.

Border checkpoints are being re-established, and anyone coming to Queensland from NSW — even from outside of Greater Sydney — now requires a Queensland Border Declaration Pass. That requirement came into effect at 1am, Sunday, December 20.

Queenslanders are also urged to get tested if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms, and to maintain social distancing and hygiene measures.

From 1am on Monday, December 21, anyone who has visited the Greater Sydney since Friday, December 11 will not be allowed to enter Queensland unless they are a returning resident or are entering for one a few essential reasons. For more information, head to the Queensland Government website.

Published on December 20, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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